Two weeks ago the federal Drug Enforcement Administration sent cease and desist letters to 11 medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle. It was the first notable enforcement action in Washington since recreational marijuana was legalized last year. Federal officials say it won’t be the last.
Entrepreneurs who hope to cash in on legal marijuana will have some heavy reading to do Thursday. That’s when Washington’s Liquor Control Board is expected to release nearly 50 pages of proposed rules for growers, processors and retailers.
But it turns out that there’s another pot rulebook that’s also in development. It’s called the Cannabis Monograph. Think of it as an illustrated bible for pot quality control.
Washington isn’t the only state that legalized marijuana for recreational use last fall. Colorado did it too. Now both states are in the process of trying something that’s never been done: regulating the growing, processing and selling of pot for recreational use.
Ross Reynolds compares the experience in the two states with Colorado Public Radio’s Ben Markus and KUOW’s Amy Radil.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board is working to figure out how to create and regulate a legalized marijuana market. It’s not clear whether regulations will include limits on things like potency or pesticide use, but right now, there are only a couple of places in the state equipped to measure marijuana purity and potency.
How long does it take to get a prescription for medical marijuana? More than a few minutes, according to the Washington State Department of Health. State regulators have suspended the license of a Seattle-area naturopath who did a brisk business at Hempfest event 2011.
With all the talk about the legalization of marijuana perhaps you’ve been caught in a haze and haven’t been paying attention to what is going on with Washington’s long legal medical marijuana. Well changes are being proposed there too. Washington Senator Ann Rivers has proposed legislation that would task the Liquor Control Board with licensing and regulating medical marijuana dispensaries, processors and growers. Ann Rivers talks to Ross Reynolds about why she thinks further regulation is necessary.
SEATTLE – When Washington voters legalized recreational marijuana last fall, they handed the state’s Liquor Control Board a regulatory nightmare. There’s no manual for how to create a safe and legal market for pot – something that’s never been done before.
State Representative Roger Goodman – speaking after a recent meeting on marijuana legalization – says the giggle factor is gone.
Last November, Bob Ferguson became Washington state’s 18th attorney general. One of the biggest issues he faces is how the federal government will approach legalized marijuana in Washington state. Ferguson met with Attorney General Eric Holder in January and so far, a clear policy has yet to emerge. Ferguson says if legalized marijuana is challenged by the feds, he'll defend it. What questions do you have for Attorney General Bob Ferguson? What should his priorities be? Call us at 800.289.5869 or email email@example.com.
For answers, KUOW’s Steve Scher talked with Thomas McLellan, Ph.D. He’s CEO and co-founder of the Treatment Research Institute, and is an internationally known substance abuse researcher and public policy expert. Most recently, he served as deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy under the Obama-Biden administration, where he was heavily involved in health care reform.
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 4:11 pm
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Predicting marijuana usage rates in Washington might come down to a test Cheech and Chong would appreciate: the size of the joint. So says one of the state’s new pot legalization consultants.
There’s a classic Cheech and Chong scene where they smoke a massive joint while driving down the road. Cheech says “Looks like a quarter pounder, man.”
Now that Washington has approved legalized marijuana, the state faces logistical challenges regarding marijuana dispensing, including defining consumer limits and determining business regulations. Weekday spoke with consultant and Medbox CEO Dr. Bruce Bedrick who shared his advice about marijuana dispensing.
Interview has been edited for clarity.
Why does legal marijuana need different controls than alcohol?
US Attorney General Eric Holder is pondering what to do about Washington and Colorado’s legalization of marijuana, a substance still illegal under US law. But it’s also become an international issue. Last Thursday, the United Nations issued a press release stating Washington state’s legalization actually violates international law. This statement comes amidst criticism from Latin American leaders calling America’s inconsistency between foreign and domestic drug policies hypocritical. The Obama administration has said a legalization strategy — at least abroad — is off the table. Ross Reynolds talks with Bruce Bagley, a professor of international studies at the University of Miami and expert on US-Latin America relations.
A new state law says you can have a licensed retail store for recreational marijuana, but it can’t be located within 1,000 feet of many facilities: schools, parks, transit centers, arcades, or libraries. In Seattle, that 1,000-foot rule means most of the city is off-limits. Smaller cities may have no eligible sites.